Rio Golf Course finally breaks ground

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Six months after the Rio Olympics golf course was scheduled to break ground – before a land dispute halted the project – designer Gil Hanse and crew are down in Brazil Tuesday morning prepping to finally begin construction on the project.

Hanse’s team is onsite to clear non-native vegetation by hand, according to Golf Week. Then they’ll clear the lines and move dirt to shape the course before planting some Zeon Zoysia – chosen grass of the Olympics – and watching it grow over the fairways, tees, and rough.

So long as there are no more delays, Hanse’s group believes the course could be ready in as few as 18 months, and could host a pro tournament in August 2015 to give the world’s top competitors a taste of the links style course before they return for the Olympics the following year.

The 240-acre project will cost about $30 million overall and live about three miles from the Olympic Park when golf returns to the Olympics for the first time since the 1904 St. Louis Games.

The IOC offered a peek of at the course design to its Twitter followers last week which you can see here.

2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships to be in San Jose

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The 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the final competition to determine the Pyeongchang Olympic team, will be in San Jose, California, at the SAP Center, concluding Jan. 7.

It appears to be the earliest the U.S. Figure Skating Championships will end in an Olympic year in at least 50 years.

The competition will be broadcast live on NBC and streamed live on Icenetwork.com.

San Jose previously hosted the U.S. Championships in 1996 and 2012, but it has never hosted in an Olympic year.

Sochi Olympian Polina Edmunds is from San Jose and figures to receive a boost of crowd support. Edmunds, 18, begins classes at nearby Santa Clara University next month.

The January 2017 U.S. Championships will be in Kansas City. The international figure skating season starts next month, with Skate America kicking off the Grand Prix season in October.

Recent Nationals host cities in Olympic years were Boston in 2014 and Spokane, Washington, in 2010.

MORE: Ashley Wagner, Gracie Gold headline Skate America

Fiji Olympic rugby coach given 3 acres of land, special name

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 11:  Gold medalists Ro Dakuwaqa of Fiji and Fiji head coach Ben Ryan celebrate after the medal ceremony for the Men's Rugby Sevens on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympics at Deodoro Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
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Olympic coaches don’t receive gold medals. Fiji Olympic men’s rugby coach Ben Ryan may have gotten something better anyway.

Ryan’s reward for guiding Fiji to its first Olympic medal in any sport — gold in rugby sevens’ Olympic debut — included three acres of land in Fiji and a new name, Ratu Peni Raiyani Latianara, according to Fijian reports.

Ryan, a London native, is stepping down as coach of the Fijian team. The 44-year-old coached the team for three years after leading the England national sevens team for six years.

MORE: Fiji wins nation’s first Olympic medal